Alkos Cosmétiques, Intercosmétiques and Sagal merged into the Alkos Group in 2008, shortly before the financial crisis. The group then had to manage both structuring and the significant decline in the sector’s activity. However, today all lights are green in terms of turnover growth and results.
A two-digit growth
This year the Alkos Group has exceeded their targets as sales have risen by +16 %, and their 2013 turnover should reach more than €43 million (€37.4 million in 2012).
As for 2014, the aim is to maintain a two-digit growth, partly with the good results obtained on the cosmetic pencils market (+20 % compared to 2012), due to exports in particular, and with the success of Intercosmétiques with lipsticks, the Jumbo Twist Mania and new major launches (+15 %). Sagal has also taken off (+24 %) with their translucent soaps, among others.
The group is now reaping both the benefits of the patient work done with activity structuring and integration, and “the results of the efforts made in quality and manufacturing, with two new site directors hired”, specifies Florence Lefeuvre, the Sales and Marketing Communications Director.
The three entities that form the Alkos Group today were well known in their own specific sectors, yet the group’s identity remained to be defined when it was set up. “Our first task consisted in developing a commercial and marketing approach by relying on the three companies’ synergies. The group’s product offer is particularly rich, with full ranges in skincare and makeup, except for powders and varnish, and also comprises soaps and stick deodorants. It was an asset from the very beginning, but it all had to be structured”, Florence Lefeuvre explains. As soon as she took up her post in 2011, she got involved in implementing the commercial tools required for presenting and promoting a global offer.
The company also invested in communication and participated in many trade shows to strengthen their reputation.
As for sales, the Alkos Group has relied on the various assets of its three entities. “Beyond the synergies and complementarity of product portfolios, we mainly aim to develop manufacturing know-how for the global quality of our formulas, but also to focus on details, getting to know our customers, listening to them and meeting their specific needs”, adds Florence Lefeuvre.
A future acquisition?
The development strategy also requires significant investments in the group’s strengths. Among the products concerned are lipsticks, for which the group has invested in a third hot filling line, cosmetic pencils, with a second, fully automatic filling line for plastic pencils to be inaugurated this month, and eyeliner pens, with the purchase of a second filling machine.
All in all, more than €2 million were invested in 2013, and this pace is to be maintained in 2014, with the possible purchase of a third filling line for plastic pencils, and a second automatic filling line for waterproof retractable pencils.
“What we want is to meet demand and be able to do credit to the markets we have won in the best conditions possible, with actual partnerships with our customers”, underlines Florence Lefeuvre.
While some companies are leaving Europe, Alkos is proud to have restored profitability and achieved a two-digit growth, and has announced their teams will be strengthened as soon as the end of the year. “As producers of plastic and wooden cosmetic pencils for more than 50 years, our “made in France” mark guarantees quality and is thus more and more highlighted, affixed near the logos of French brands that listen to their customers and are more and more sensitive to it”, Florence Lefeuvre explains.
The Alkos Group has thus reached their goals by “making different cultures merge in the same project”, stresses Dominique Vautier, CEO.
Shareholders and customers trust the group, which can now look ahead and even consider a possible coherent acquisition in terms of product and/or geographic complementarity. The group is indeed still strongly focused on the French market, which globally represents about 70 % of their activity. To be continued…